Frequently Asked Questions regarding Digital Painting and Artistic progression.
I’m completely new to this digital art thing, where should I start?
First of all we must realise that computers will not create art for us. The computer, software and tablet are merely tools used by an artist to achieve a result. The end result will be determined by the skill of the artist using those tools. So it is most important to seek a solid understanding of art fundamentals such as good drawing and knowledge of design elements and principles such as composition, lighting, mood and colour. But of course the great thing about digital is that you will be able to rapidly hone these skills due to the lack of fear involved with being able to undo and easily correct mistakes. Yet do not neglect traditional drawing as I can’t recomend enough the value of filling up sketchbooks in your spare time and during travels to fill your visual library and develop your draftsmanship and observational skills.
In regards to learning Photoshop start with the Basics Series here.
Do I have to learn digital painting or can I stick to my oils and gouache?
With the direction the industry is heading, it’s highly advisable to learn the digital side of things, as most clients will expect you to know how.
How did you learn and improve your art and digital painting skills?
I always had an interest in art throughout my life but didn’t know what to study or have proper direction. I found a website called ConceptArt.org and found many people who were sharing critiques and information and their art on the forums. It made me realise what needed to be studied in order to improve and the standard to be reached to be considered professional. So I bought a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet (which I still use) and started making some terrible paintings. But as I practiced more and matured in my knowledge I developed a keener eye and ability to draw better and all those things.
I did begin to attend an illustration course but felt that the most useful thing I got out of it wasn’t what they taught but just being in an environment with other artists. I feel that you can learn just as much through making use of internet communities and resources for learning art, since the main thing is that you aim to draw everyday, basically practice, practice, practice. You will gain alot of helpful critiques of your work through sites such as CGHub and ConceptArt.org
Probably the most important thing in summary of all that is to set goals and know what field of art you’re pursing if your aim is to do it as a job. Research the requirements of those roles and it will answer your questions about what is neccessary to study. For example a Character Designer would be required to have a strong knowledge of Anatomy and the human form as one need.
I can’t afford Photoshop, what should I do?
If you’re a student there are discounts available to you. Adobe also has a subscription service available so you can pay monthly to use it. There are also free alternatives to Photoshop such as GIMP which is very similar to Photoshop but some of the techniques for painting are done differently. Corel Painter is another great program which is much cheaper than Photoshop and better in some aspects. The good thing about Corel Painter is, it is also considered an industry standard so you wouldn’t be disadvantaged if you prefered to use that.
Will you be doing tutorials on other software other than Adobe Photoshop?
Yes in future I will probably make some tutorials using software such as Corel Painter and GIMP. I use a program called Manga Studio sometimes for comic work so that is a tutorial on the horizon. Yet with that said many of the techniques and principles you will find are common to all the software since developers are aware of user habits and try make the programs seem familiar. You will find that getting good at one program will make learning the next one easier, and since it really is just a tool your artistic skills should be what matters.
Can you give me feedback on my work?
Yes, please send your jpegs or even psd’s if not too large to cam(at)howtodigitalpaint.com. I will critique your work and feature it on Feedback Fridays, a weekly segment of my videos.
How often do you post new videos?
There will definately be at least 2 new videos per week. Some weeks I will post more maybe up to 5 videos depending on my available time and schedule.
Are you accepting commissions?
Yes, but you can expect to be rejected if it’s a request for anything overtly violent, sexual or horrific.